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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Kalyana Rasam



Kalyana Rasam is very popular in Tamil Nadu, served for wedding feasts. It is much thinner than the paruppu / Dal rasam made every day in households. It is very aromatic, spicy and tangy.This rasam is served in a separate cup and will be very yummy to just drink it as well.

My mother makes this same rasam without any dal/ paruppu. I have used some dal in this one.

Get Ready


  • 1 tomato cut into big pieces
  • 1/2 tomato finely chopped in small pieces
  • 1 tbsp cooked toor dal, mashed and diluted with water
  • water as needed to dilute the rasam
  • 1/4 tsp asafetida
  • Chopped Cilantro as much as you want
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp Ghee
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds


To Roast and Grind


  • 1 tsp toor dal
  • 1tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 red chilli
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper corn ( use more of needed)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
Go

In a pan, add a drop of ghee and roast all the ingredients under roast, except cumin seeds. Roast them on medium flame till they are aromatic. Add the cumin seeds at the end, toss and turn the heat off. You want to add cumin at the end to avoid a burnt taste of cumin.


Once cooled, add the big piece of tomato to the roasted ingredients and grind them fine.


Transfer this ground paste into the pan you are going to make rasam.


Add the asafedita, salt to taste and let it boil for 10 -12 mins.
Add the diluted dal mixture, finely chopped tomatoes to the above cooked rasam.


Check salt to taste, add more water if your rasam is thicker.


Add chopped cilantro and let the rasam come to a frothy boil.
Take off from the heat.


In a pan,add the ghee and do the tempering/ tadka with mustard seeds and pour it on the rasam.

Enjoy with rice, ghee and any side dish.


You can check out my other Mysore, Gottu, Lemon rasam varieties on the link.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Broccoli Moong dal Stir fry



Broccoli is one vegetable which some may like it or hate it. I am not a big fan of raw broccoli, but if cooked i can eat it like nobody's business. I tried broccoli with moongdal during our recent potluck party made by a friend. She had used lots of garlic and cooked them slow in an electric skillet. Even the broccoli haters at the  party enjoyed it.

To me the garlic was very overpowering and I tried making my own just with onions and no garlic.
Of course, if you are die hard fan of garlic, go for it.

It tasted very good with rice, sambar, rasam or curd rice. My 6 year old couldn't wait to get her hands in it while I was taking pictures of it.

That, means a lot to me...!

Mild nuttiness and crunch of  moongdal and broccoli makes this a very flavorful side dish.

Get Ready:


  • 1 & 1/2 crowns of broccoli, washed and chopped into small florets with stem
  • 1/2 onion thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp of moongdal soaked in little water for 20 mins and drained ( this helps in faster cooking of dal)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp sambar powder
  • 1/4 tsp red chilli powder
  • salt to taste


To temper/ Tadka/ Thalikka


  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp urad dal
Go:


  • In a pan, add oil and do the temering with mustard seeds and urad dal. The seeds pop, and urad dal turns light brown.

  • Add the sliced onions and saute till soft  and translucent.

  • Add the chopped broccoli, moong dal, all spices and salt to taste.
  • Toss them all well, reduce flame to low, cover and cook till the broccoli florets are soft, but still has a mild crunch. if you like yours to be cooked softer, keep it till the right consistency. Yes, you can open the lid and toss them once in a while. We don't need to add any water for the broccoli to cook. Covering the pan will help them steam and cook faster. too much water can make it all a big mush.
  • Once the florets are cooked, adjust salt or other spices and cook of medium flame uncovered.
  • Saute till all the water is absorbed and the curry is dry.




Turn the heat off and enjoy with rice, chappathi or buttered toast.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Easy Spanish Rice with Picante Sauce



Let me apologize that this post does not have step by step pictures, as I was in a hurry to make it.

A very easy to put together Spanish rice with Pace Picante Sauce. This  brand that is readily available in all the grocery stores in USA. Normally Spanish rice uses long grain variety, but I had only Basmati rice and that is what I used.
One can use any salsa to make this.
Spanish rice is our tomato rice's sister, I guess!
I cooked the rice on a stove top. However u can use the rice cooker as well.

I made this rice and served with cheese quesadillas, sour cream and guacamole.

Get Ready


  • 1 cup Basmati Rice
  • 3/4 cup Pace Picante sauce ( u can use any salsa , add more if you want it a little tangy)
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  •  salt to taste
  •  chilli flakes to taste ( optional)
  • Olive oil 2 table spoon.
Go

  • In a medium sized pan, add the olive oil.
  • Add the onions and suate till translucent
  • Add the rice ( I used unwashed rice) and saute till it changes color.
  • Add the salsa, water, salt, chilli flakes to taste.
  • Let it come to a boil  and allow it to boil till most of the water is absorbed on medium to high heat, uncovered.
  • Now lower the heat, cover and cook till rice is done.
  • Fluff it with a fork, turn the heat off and enjoy

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Chatpata Bhatura / Uncooked tortilla Bhatura


Poori and Bhaturae are a big hit among kids and adults. Fluffy and crispy at the same time, they are generally a crowd pleaser. I have tried to make bhatura couple of times before and it was not a successful attempt.

Recently, I had been to a friend's house for dinner and had poori's. They puffed up so well and my friend meticulously had them all rolled and stored in a box and was ready to fry. I was impressed by all the hard work she had put into, till I found out that they were actually uncooked tortillas. I am still impressed as how smart she was to do this and introduce this wonderful and easy poori or bhatura recipe to me. Thanks J!

Most of the supermarkets here in USA sell these uncooked flour and corn tortillas. They can be found near deli section on your supermarket in the refrigerated section. The most commonly available and popular brand is the " Tortilla Land" one.

I had to buy them ASAP after my dinner and could not wait ti try it at home and share the recipe with you all. I served with a simple potato masala, but you can serve with chole or any curry. If you are like me, you can eat it with sugar :).

The uncooked tortillas are big and I was willing to have a huge pan with oil. So I used a very sophisticated tool, hehe... a tiffin box rim and a katori to cut these tortillas into smaller circles. The  edges will be fried or baked my me for tortilla chips. recipe will follow soon. With a small katori, i got 3 mini poori and with a tiffin box rim , a medium sized poori/ bhatura. Play with what you have at home.

Get Ready


  • Tortilla land uncooked flour tortillas 1 packet
  • Oil to deep fry



Go


  • Tortillas, ready to get out of the pack.




  • Cutting circles. You need any circular utensil with slightly sharp rim. Press hard on the tortilla and cut the desired shape.


  • First circle ready



  • 3 small ones with a katori.

  • The oil has to be smoking hot. Add the tortillas one at at a time, gently press to let them puff. Flip them over and cook on the other side till you get a golden brown color. You can see the tortilla puffing up!

So from this to this!
Any remaining tortillas, you can freeze them and use it with the time displayed on the packet!

So, friends, a very easy and quick recipe to impress your family and friends!

Enjoy!


Friday, March 27, 2015

Spaghetti with Creamy Avocado




If you are like me, who can eat avocados with anything, then you should try this recipe.

My daughter saw me cut the avocados and said' yew, green!".

 Then I  played the roll of a sneaky chef and made my 6 year old eat avocado with out any complaints! Sh.....

There is no butter or cream and is a perfect dish for all you low carb eaters!

There is no recipe, honestly and I did not take pictures as I cooked the dish! My kids finished this and I ended eating the creamy avocado on a simple bread toast for dinner.

Get Ready ( serves 2 kids)


  • Avocado 1, pitted and remove the flesh.
  • Bunch of cilantro, washed and picked
  • salt to taste
  • 1 clove of garlic peeled
  • 1 small green chili / optional
  • Lemon juice to tatste
  • Spaghetti or any pasta cooked aldente, ( took 3 fistful of dry spaghetti)
  •  1 tsp of olive oil
  • 4-5 grape tomatoes halved ( optional)
Go

  • In a blender/ food processor add the avocado, chili, cilantro, garlic, salt and lemon juice. blend till creamy, set aside.
  • Cook the pasta aldente, drain and toss in some olive oil
  • Add the avocado mixture to the pasta and toss them well in a bowl
  • Add the cherry tomatoes and serve.
I added a little of store brought marinara sauce over this for my little one and she did not even know.

Other variations:


  • Use basil or spinach to grind with the avocado.
  • Add some streamed corn or any beans of your choice to the cooked pasta.


How easy is that for a week night dinner, folks?

Check out my Chilled Avocado Soup and

Friday, March 20, 2015

Dates and Nut Energy Balls / Date Choco Nut Balls



I recently saw this recipe Here and had bookmarked it. My DH has an obsession for dates and had got this huge container. He ate most of it and some of it was sitting in my pantry for a while. I used them with available nuts at home and made a healthy and delicious snack in no time.

These are perfect as breakfast balls, after school snack or as a perfect sweet treat after meals!

They will also be great for prasad after bhajans, or pot luck dinners.

Get Ready ( makes about 20 -22 small balls)


  • 1 cup pitted and chopped dates ( used about 24 dates)
  • 1 & 1/4 cup coarsely chopped nuts ( I used Costco salted cashews and TJ's pistachios)
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder ( I used TJ's sipping chocolate)
  • 2 Tbsp dry dessicated coconut 9 available in Indian stores)
  • 1/2 tso Nescafe instant coffee\
  • Ghee/ oil to grease your hands for rolling
  • few drops of water as needed




I decided to add the coconut at the last minute and hence missing in the initial picture.

Go


  1. Microwave the chopped dates for 30 secs, so it becomes soft.  Add this to the blender or food processor with cocoa powder and instant coffee. Blend till the dates are made into a finely coarse paste and the coco powder and coffee powder are well incorporated. I do not have a food process or and used my preethi mixie. It will come out like this. This paste is going to bind all the other ingredients and will be able to hold its shape as a ball.





2. Add the coarsely chopped nuts and coconut, sprinkle some water if needed. grease your (clean ) hands and mix the nuts into the date mixture. Again if you have a food processor, coarsely whizz the nuts. I used my knife to chop them.

3. Apply some ghee to your hands and roll them into balls of desired size.


Other variations:

Use any available nuts.
Adding some cardamom powder will be even better!

Enjoy and let me know how it turned out!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Chappathi Crumble / Roti Crumble




Vaghereli Roti, is the name for this up cycled dish with left over rotis. They are made pretty spicy, however I made them tolerable to our taste.
Here is a very quick and easy recipe with left over chapathi's. I guess this is the equivalent of idli upma to chapathis or rotis. I had only 3 rotis left over and used whatever vegetables i had in the fridge. Feel free to experiment with other vegetables.

A perfect lunch box dish or a tea time snack!


Get Ready

  • 3 left over chapathis ( cut them into small ribbons with a kitchen scissors or rip with your hand)
  • 1/4 onion finely chopped
  • 1 cup of shredded carrots and cabbage ( use bell peppers, beans, carrot, corn, potatoes, peas)
  • 2  thai green chili slit
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder or red chilli powder ( or to taste)
  • a small wedge of lemon






Go

  • In a pan, add oil. when hot, add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle
  • Add the chopped onions and green chillies and saute till onions are soft
  • Add the shredded cabbage, carrots a little salt and cook uncoverd till the veggies are partially done. You want a crunch in the vegetables, don't over cook them


Add the chopped chappathi, salt to taste, garam masala and toss them all together on medium heat.


Reduce the heat, sprinkle a little water and cook till all the spices are well incorporated for 2-3 mins


Turn the heat off, garnish with cilantro and serve hot with a wedge of lemon


I packed this for my own lunch and it tasted so good and was not dry at all!

Enjoy and have a great weekend folks!